Understanding the myths perpetrated by government in the health care debate

Written by Editor on . Posted in Health News

The Matter With MythsBy Philip Klein | The American SpectatorBut the biggest obstacle conservatives face is that for decades they have allowed many myths and misleading facts about health care to permeate the national consciousness and rig the debate in the favor of those who want to expand the role of government. The only hope that conservatives have of winning the debate is to challenge fundamentally some of the leading assumptions people have about health care. While there is a lot of misinformation to parse, TAS has compiled a list of some of the most pernicious myths in need of debunking.The Myth: The United States has a free market health care system.The Reality: Both in terms of direct spending and regulation, government plays a dominant role in health care and impedes the formation of a marketbased system in the U.S.The Myth: 46 million Americans are without health care.The Reality: The ubiquitous statistic is not pulled out of thin air. It comes from an annual report by the Census Bureau, which most recently pegged the number of uninsured at 45.7 million for 2007. But the problem lies in the way the statistic is commonly cited and understood.The Myth: Universal health care will save money, because we’re already picking up the tab for the uninsured when they obtain care they don’t pay for.The Reality: The government can reduce the costs of uncompensated health care by expanding coverage, but those “savings” are more than offset by the expense of insuring more people.The Myth: Investing in preventive care will save money in the long run.The Reality: While the costs of treating an individual for a given illness may be exorbitant, the costs for testing, screening, and providing early treatment for millions of other people is often much higher.The Myth: Other countries spend less than the U.S., but get better health care in return.The Reality: Other systems frequently cited by advocates of government-run health care don’t have magic wands; they set budgets and ration care to the sick. Tests such as CT scans and MRIs that are routinely performed in the U.S. are done with much less frequency in other systems. But while other nations may be able to keep the costs of medical care lower, they have other drawbacks.once a person understands how much government already tinkers with the current system, or what is actually behind the statistic of 46 million being uninsured, he will be more open to arguments in favor of a truly free market system. In such a system, the tax status of health insurance could be made fairer, so that individuals enjoy the same benefits for purchasing coverage on their own as others do when getting their health care through their employers. This would also allow them to take their insurance with them from job to job. In addition, they would also have more choices among plans if they could purchase insurance across state lines and not be held hostage by onerous regulations that force them to purchase more insurance than they need. And if they understood the actual costs and tradeoffs involved in moving toward a government-run system, they would be less likely to embrace one.
READ MORE HERE.These are just highlights … read the whole article for all the facts.

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